German unemployment has fallen again as the arrival of summer weather goes hand in hand with a pick-up in hiring in Europe's biggest economy. With companies reporting full order books, a trend reversal is not in sight.
The number of jobless people in Germany dropped in May, the Federal Labor Agency (BA) reported on Wednesday.
The Nuremberg-based office said it registered 2.498 million unemployed people in the country in May, bringing the number below the psychologically important threshold of two and a half million.
BA officials noted the May figure was the lowest for this month since 1991 and marked a dip of 71,000 people month on month.
Skilled workers at a premium
The country's jobless rate fell by 0.2 percent to 5.6 percent in the month under review, the employment agency announced.
"Conditions for economic growth are good, and the labor market had developed accordingly," BA President Detlef Scheele said in a statement, adding that there was also a high number of vacancies.
Adjusted for seasonal effects, the number of jobless people in Germany fell by 9,000 to 2.536 million.
Eurozone doing better
Also on Wednesday, the European statistics office Eurostat reported that seasonally adjusted unemployment in the 19-member eurozone sank to 9.3 percent in April, the lowest figure recorded since May 2009.
It said just over 15 million people were out of work in the bloc, marking a decrease of 233,000 from the previous month when the jobless rate stood at 9.4 percent.
hg/jd (dpa, Reuters)